The content box lets you edit your content in a rich text editor (the Visual tab, on by default) or work with the underlying source code (the HTML tab). Most people are comfortable writing in the Visual editor. It behaves more or less like familiar desktop word processors, allowing you to add formatting (bold, italic, lists, links) without having to write HTML. Of course, if you know HTML, you can check the Visual editor's work by switching to HTML view. In either view, the editor automatically converts single line breaks to <br /> tags and double line breaks to properly nested paragraphs. If you include <p> and <br /> tags in the HTML view, they'll be removed unless they include attributes. For example, <p> would be removed, but <p class="caption"> would not.

The last button in the Visual editor's toolbar is labeled Show/Hide the Kitchen Sink. Press this button and a second row of tools will be revealed, including a dropdown that lets you create headings, addresses, and preformatted text using the appropriate HTML tags.

The Visual editor does not include tools for working with tables, subscripts, superscripts, and other relatively unusual formats. If you need these tools, use the TinyMCE Advanced plugin to add them to your toolbar. Install the plugin as described in Chapter 2, then go to Settings ^ TinyMCE Advanced to configure your toolbars. You'll be able to create up to four rows of buttons (Figure 4-3). Simply drag the buttons you don't want out of the toolbar areas and drop in the ones you do want to use.

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Figure 4-3. Configuring the TinyMCE Advanced plugin

Figure 4-3. Configuring the TinyMCE Advanced plugin

If you often include code samples in your posts, you might find that the Visual editor mangles your formatting and changes some of your code to HTML entities. If this drives you crazy (or if you just hate the Visual editor!), you can turn it off entirely by checking the Disable the Visual editor when writing box in your user profile.

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